OKAY, THAT DOES IT! I have been forced to use Windows 98 for the last couple of months. And I haven't been that bothered. Running an old Emacs is suboptimal, but it gets the email and news done. IE4 is a reasonably decent browser and WebWasher is fairly good at sifting through the incoming HTML. Despite Windows many interface quirks (left button doesn't copy when marking, middle button doesn't insert, ctrl-a and ctrl-e doesn't do what they are supposed to, lack of a decent commandline interpreter (yes, they are useful for some tasks), and the general lack of customization of the graphical interface), rebootiness at install (8 reboots were required(!)), the few random lockups and reboots I have experienced when pushing the system a little - it hasn't been that bad overall, compared to what I was expecting from Windows (I have been using Linux since 1994).
Just now, Windows locked up my machine completely while I was dragging a scrollbar on a webpage. Locked up completely. The mouse was unmovable, the numlock-light didn't change when pressed. Dead in a hard way. I was editing an important email in the background, an email that under no circumstance should be lost due to a faulty browser crashing the operating system! This is unacceptable behaviour, even for Windows!
Fortunately Emacs is quite conservative when it comes to trusting the underlying operating system - scouring C:ASJONEWSDRAFTS I found #9# - which was an automatically saved backup of my important email. Emacs saved my day. Windows certainly didn't.
I don't think much of Microsoft bashing, and I certainly think the lemmings who shout "Micro$oft Suxxx" are way un-cool. But I don't need this kind of crap from an operating system on my box. Linux has never, ever, abused my trust in this way. I'm sorry, but experiences like this leads to people shouting "Micro$oft Suxxx". And now I understand why they do.
I started this entry by shouting, loudly (and I hope your ears have stopped ringing by now). Well, my conclusion is this: I won't run this suspect operating system any more. Tomorrow I will boot Linux and start looking at the PPP-code, and I will keep staring until my eyes hurt. PPP over ATM needs to be done. Now. It's not fun, no: bearable any more!